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WATERS OFF THE COAST OF JAPAN (May 14, 2019) Sailors assigned to the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct small boat operations. Ronald Reagan provides a combat-ready force, which protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by MCSA Thomas Leishman.
WATERS OFF THE COAST OF JAPAN (May 14, 2019) Sailors assigned to the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct small boat operations. Ronald Reagan provides a combat-ready force, which protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by MCSA Thomas Leishman.

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Coronado Sailor Sindy Johnson named  Fiscal Year 2018 Navy Shore Sailor of the Year.

Coronado-based Sailor Sindy Johnson, Fiscal Year 2018 Navy Shore Sailor of the Year.

MCPON, VCNO honor 2018 Sailors of the Year
Washington, D.C. (NNS) -- The Navy's 2018 Sailors of the Year (SOY) were meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer during a ceremony, May 16, at the Navy Memorial.
The four Sailors of the Year honored at the ceremony are: Logistics Specialist 1st Class Sindy Johnson, from U.S Navy Shore; Builder 1st Class Luke Johnson, from U.S. Fleet Forces Sea; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Nicholas Natelli, from U.S. Pacific Fleet; and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Angelita Baggoo, from U.S. Navy Reserve.
Read full story...

U.S., Philippine Coast Guards conduct joint search-and-rescue exercise
5/14/2019
From Coast Guard Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) and vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard conducted joint search-and-rescue exercises at sea, west of Manila, May 14.
The Bertholf, a 418-foot National Security Cutter based in Alameda, California, trained with the Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessels BRP Batangas and BRP Kalanggaman on small boat search-and-rescue tactics during a mock rescue scenario. The cutter is currently deployed to the Indo-Pacific and under the operational control of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet.
Training together strengthens one of the most enduring partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region, between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines, and supports both countries’ commitment to a free and open Pacific, governed by international maritime law that promotes peace, security and prosperity of all nations.

NMCB-3 holds change of command ceremony
by MC2 Michael Lopez, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 held a change of command ceremony on Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, May 10.
Cmdr. Joseph Harder was relieved by Cmdr. Jonathan Nieman as the commanding officer of NMCB-3 in a ceremony attended by military and civilian guests, and distinguished visitors.
Capt. David McAlister, commodore of Naval Construction Group 1, served as the guest of honor.
“Today is a bittersweet day for the Naval Construction Force (NCF),” said McAlister. “We must say farewell to Cmdr. Harder, but also get to celebrate his leadership and highlight just a couple of the amazing things that NMCB-3 accomplished during his outstanding tour as commanding officer. We also get to welcome Cmdr. Nieman back to Port Hueneme, and back to NMCB-3 while we formally transfer command of NMCB-3 from Cmdr. Harder to Cmdr. Nieman.”
The change of command was solidified by the passing of the battalion colors from Harder to Nieman, a tradition among NCF units.
After the passing of the colors, Nieman addressed the nearly 600 Seabees for the first time as their commanding officer.
“It is humbling and an absolute honor to be standing here in front of all of you today as your commanding officer,” said Nieman. “Opportunities to serve with you and for Seabees are few and far between. I will strive daily to be better than best for you, your families, our Naval Expeditionary Forces and our nation.”

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NRL Tech Transfer Office forges collaboration with tech incubator
by By Jonathan B. Holloway, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Technology Transfer Office at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory forged a strategic partnership with 1776, the nation’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators, to foster innovative-intellectual exchange and gainful collaborative agreements.
At 1776, promising tech-enabled startups, investors, corporate partners and government agencies in innovation-driven industries, collide in a central location where meaningful exchange between markets, talent and capital take place.
“This partnership will provide NRL scientists with the opportunity to engage with innovators and investors in the private sector,” said Amanda Horansky McKinney, head of NRL’s Technology Transfer Office. “NRL and tech startups are similar in their focus on cutting-edge technology and innovation, but an active, ongoing dialogue between our communities hasn’t yet existed.”
Gaining early visibility of new technology-driven markets can help NRL researchers understand the culture, mindset and tools tech startups use to think differently about the future — an advantage that can be leveraged in developing future naval capabilities....read more

Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more

Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more

Separation policy
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more

May is Military Appreciation Month

Operation Appreciation in Oceanside,
Sat., May 18

America on Main Street in El Cajon,
Sat., May 18

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National military news
USS America, USS New Orleans to forward deploy to Japan; USS Stethem, USS Wasp to return to U.S.
SASEBO, Japan - The Navy announced recently that amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and landing platform dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) will become part of the U.S. 7th Fleet forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Sasebo, Japan. Guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) will shift its homeport to San Diego for its midlife modernization and amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) will shift its homeport to Norfolk to undergo scheduled maintenance.
Read more...

Family PCS travel flexibility
expanded

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy has expanded the eligible categories for advanced dependent travel (ADT) and delayed dependent travel (DDT), personnel officials announced in September.
For permanent change of station (PCS) moves within the 50 states, the policy allows for dependent travel of up to six months before or after the sponsoring Sailor’s PCS move in the following situations: spousal employment or education, dependents in elementary or secondary school (K-12), dependent enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or caring for an immediate family member with a chronic or long-term illness. The previous approved policy that allowed DDT for the length of the school year is unchanged by this expansion.
For moves from the 50 states to overseas locations, only DDT will be authorized. For moves from overseas locations to the 50 states, only ADT will be authorized.
Sailors will only receive one housing allowance, either for their location or their dependent’s location, under delayed or advance travel. Sailors or dependents may be assigned government quarters if available, but may not displace a member or dependent in government housing.
Requests for DDT or ADT must be submitted to Navy Personnel Command (PERS-451).
For information and answers to questions on this policy, email NXAG_N130C@navy.mil.

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SoCal military news

SWRMC supports Boxer Amphibious Ready Group deployment
5/15/2019
From SWRMC Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors and civilians from Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) worked to support the USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) as they prepared to depart for a regularly scheduled deployment on May 1.
“We are an empowered team that strives to provide the best support to the Fleet in San Diego, and to be an organization the Navy can depend on,” said Capt. David Hart, SWRMC’s commanding officer. “Practicing the ideas and concepts behind the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Campaign Plan to Expand the Advantage allows us to focus our actions to support our customers and the mission.”
The ARG, comprised of USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS John P Murtha (LPD 26) and USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), departed Casualty Report (CASREP) free. A CASREP is used to notify the chain of command and readiness stakeholders of degradation to operational readiness of the ship. Deficiencies in an activity's material condition typically results in in a CASREP, which alerts support activities to the nature of the outside assistance required for correction.
The objective to deploy ships CASREP free is a charge that comes directly from Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Richard Brown.
To meet this charge from Vice Adm. Brown, the ARG focused their efforts on achieving a CASREP-free deployment in October 2018 with bi-monthly maintenance meetings. In this forum, all CASREPs and other maintenance requirements were discussed, and the path forward to make corrective actions was addressed.
“We set a schedule and held ARG CASREP meetings to focus more on doing a little work all the time to meet Vice Admiral Brown’s philosophy,” explained Gene Atienza, SWRMC’s Waterfront Operations Project Manager for Harpers Ferry. “This meant repairing CASREP items in planned continuous maintenance availabilities (CMAVS) and in unplanned EMs (Emergent Avails) once the ARG ships completed their scheduled Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) availabilities.”
In addition to ARG CASREP meetings, Capt. Hart led deploying-ship briefs to discuss all maintenance topics, depot-level repairs, and CASREPS.
“All SWRMC departments, including quality control, contracts, engineering, production, and waterfront operations supported the Boxer ARG, making it possible for them to reach CASREP free status,” said Thomas Parker, the assigned Type Commander (TYCOM) Port Engineer for Boxer. “SWRMC’s Engineering Department immediately provided technical assistance whenever it was requested from the Maintenance Team.”
This team effort included work performed on short notice by SWRMC’s divers to support the Boxer ARG’s deployment – including work supporting critical repairs.
SWRMC is meeting its mission to provide superior ship maintenance, modernization, technical support, and training for the Pacific Fleet.

SAN DIEGO (April 19, 2019) The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) sails through San Diego Bay in transit to the ship's Naval Base San Diego homeport, successfully completing the ship's maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Charleston is the ninth ship in the littoral combat ship Independence-variant class and is the eleventh LCS to be homeported in San Diego. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Woody S. Paschall
SAN DIEGO (April 19, 2019) The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) sails through San Diego Bay in transit to the ship's Naval Base San Diego homeport, successfully completing the ship's maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Charleston is the ninth ship in the littoral combat ship Independence-variant class and is the eleventh LCS to be homeported in San Diego. U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Woody S. Paschall

Navy's newest littoral combat ship USS Charleston arrives in San Diego
4/22/2019
by Lt.j.g. Jasmine Spencer, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE Public Affairs
San Diego (NNS) -- The newest littoral combat ship, the Independence-variant USS Charleston (LCS 18), arrived at its San Diego homeport April 19 after completing its maiden voyage from the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
Prior to arriving in San Diego, Charleston officially joined the fleet March 2 when it was commissioned in Charleston, South Carolina. During the sail-around, the ship made port calls to Mayport, Florida; Little Creek, Virginia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Mazatlan, Mexico. The ship also completed a successful transit through the Panama Canal.
“I’m proud to say that the crew did a phenomenal job during Charleston’s maiden voyage, working many long hours to execute the voyage safely,” Cmdr. Christopher K. Brusca, Charleston’s commanding officer, said. “To get Charleston ready for delivery, we’ve been away from our families for nine months, but during that time, the crew maintained an infectious positivity throughout every aspect of bringing this ship to the fleet.”
The ship falls under Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One (COMLCSRON ONE) control until the future LCS Mine Countermeasures Division is established on the West Coast.
“Charleston is a first-class ship with a first-class crew,” Capt. Matthew McGonigle, commander, COMLCSRON ONE, said. “With Charleston’s arrival, we now have 11 littoral combat ships homeported in San Diego and we couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and positivity our LCS crews continue to demonstrate every single day.”
LCSs are high-speed, agile, shallow-draft, mission-focused surface combatants designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCSs have the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine-hunting capabilities, LCSs provide a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders across the spectrum of operations.


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United Through Reading®
Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at utr@usosandiego.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.

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